Battery Charger Modification Kits Available

The battery charger modification kit that was in last years KOP was manufactured by Kell Robotics, Team #1311. This item is available now from the team website.

100% of the net proceeds go to a humanitarian fundraiser

Funds raised will be used to bring safe drinking water to a school in Namibia.

Make your team safer, and other peoples lives safer

http://www.kellrobotics.org/index.php?option=com_microshop

Try this linkinstead, the one ^^ above’s incomplete.

An excellent kit, for a great cause. I cringe whenever I see a team using the alligator clips inserted directly into the powerpole connector to charge a battery. If they only knew the disaster that would occur if those clips ever touched each other - the batteries might not seem like much, but shorted they can be lethal.

Don

Can you give a little bit more detailed description of the kit? The page doesn’t really help much, and the picture only shows one end.

Although our team has never alligator clipped our power connector on, we usually just screw on a metal connector, insert the wires, and then coat the connections in layer upon layer of electrical tape.

I got the link to the website fixed, sorry for the error.

Kit Description:

It is an Anderson Power connector that mates perfectly with the battery connector. There is a red and black pigtail that has a splice connector that is designed to mate to the wire that comes out of your battery charger.

It also comes with some heat shrink tubing that can be used to neaten up the whole assembly.

If you look at the picture what has happened is the alligator clips were cut off, the wires stripped and inserted into the adapter and crimped. Then the heat shrink tubing at the bottom is slid over the crimps and shrunk with a heat gun or hair dryer which make it more durable and neater.

The past two years we have distributed over 1,700 of these world wide.

This year we would like to make these available again but also bring safe water to those in need.

In case you don’t know Dean Kamen is also interested in clean water. He has been working to develop effective technologies to solve this problem.

Over 90% of the preventable death and disease in the developing world is from bad water and it is easy to fix. And you can help them and yourself.

We will post more information on our site in a day or so about this device.

It seems like a worthy cause!

Could you be more specific about where the proceeds are going? I was unable to find any information on your web site. I assume you or your team aren’t personally going to fix the water in Africa, so what organization are you affiliating yourselves with?

This effort is sponsored by
Kell Robotics
Anderson Power Products
General Cable / Carol Wire

Our partner organization is charity:water

You can view their website at http://www.charityis.org/

100 % of the proceeds go to the well.

No money is retained by the team, or sponsors, or by charity:water

They work with NGOs that are already on the ground installing wells. I think they are averaging about 1 a week now.

If you have any questions please ask !!

All orders received to date have been shipped by USPS this past Friday.

Thank you for your support and we look forward to fulfilling more orders so we can get this well built. We have about 6 weeks left until competition so you still have time to get ready.

Thanks
The Kell High School Robotics Team

While I think that the service that the Kell Robotics team is providing to the FRC community is noteworthy, and the donation of the proceeds to charity is commendable, it is important to point out one thing. Any modifications to the battery charger provided in the Kit Of Parts would appear to be a violation of Rule <R67>.

A request has been submitted to FIRST to have the rule amended to permit these types of modifications (which are effectively safety improvements). However, until that request is approved and a change to the rule is actually put in place, you are running a risk by modifying the battery charger.

-dave

.

Thanks to whomever submitted that request; we have been doing this for years and only now see the interpretation of current <R67> that might prohibit the exchange of wiring ends.

While this can be argued, replacing the wiring connectors which interface to the battery would be only vaguely interpreted as rewiring, since the current path is not being altered. Again, it’s a game of semantics, but the point is well taken.

Don

Dave,

Thanks for pointing out Rule and to whoever submitted the rule amendment request to FIRST. We missed that one.

Often times you will see banks of chargers in the pits charging batteries. The chargers are usually accumulated from prior years and meet the requirement in <R48>. Last year there was a very much improved safety across the board in Atlanta on this issue. I distinctly remember our team moving into the GWCC and before we could even get into our pit safety inspectors told us that there was widespread compliance.

Without getting into a lot of legalisms I suppose one could leave the 2008 charger at home and use another charger without violating <R48> or <R67>.

We will enthusiastically support the decision FIRST announces.

Until then you can our device and wire it into an interstage adapter. Basically take our gizmo and connect it to two posts inside of a box. Then take the charger clips and connect it to the posts (sort of like battery posts). And secure well.

Thanks to all

If for some reason this is not changed… you can get your spare Anderson Connector, strip the wire back, clamp the charger leads on, and tape it up to insulate it. Therefore, you never do change the battery charger, and the rules will allow it. (Plus, I don’t see the inspectors asking, “May we see your battery charger to make sure you didn’t alter it in any way?”)

We have posted on our website a FAQ about this programhere.

It addresses:
a - How the website works and collects money.
b - Where the money flows.
c - Who touches the money, and who doesn’t.
d - The other, non-obvious reasons we have this program.
e - And a little about how you can employ a non-profit foundation to support your team or school.

The answers for more questions will be posted as necessary.

Please also note that Team Update #4 announced that changing the battery charger clips to an Anderson connector is now approved.

It is recommended that this be done to your charger for safety purposes.

Teams have at least 5 options. You can:

0 - do nothing
1 - use a spare cable from the KOP
2 - buy parts from a distributer and build your own
3 - buy a cable assembly from AndyMark and modify it
3 - or buy this kit and we will provide the materials, and you will support the cause.

Please pick one and go to your competition safe and secure.

BTW -

The KOP and AndyMark cable assemblies are #6 wire suitable for connecting to batteries.

The charger modification kit is #10 wire stepped down to #18 gauge and ready to directly receive the #18 gauge wire that is on the charger, thereby reducing your hassle.

Good Luck !!!

Wow, this thing is awesome. We bought two for our team and they have worked great.
It truly does makes things a lot safer in the shop and work area.
I really love the idea of the proceeds going straight towards a good cause.
This is a really good idea of being able to help provide a safer environment for all while at the same time raising money for a really good cause.
This is one of the best purchases I have made in a while.

I just got our kit today and installed in about 5 minutes. WOW its much safer and much neater. I also think the cause is a great idea and back kell 100%.

I also have seen my share of horrific charger set ups, and some firework shows:p